IT’S TREESON

SHOP­PERS AN­GRY AS COUN­CIL AXE GOES THROUGH QUEEN ST PLANT­INGS

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Ali­son Bald­ing

FU­RI­OUS shop­pers are shocked at the re­moval of trees from St Marys.

Many have slammed the move as a stark con­trast to Pen­rith Coun­cil’s prom­ise to cool the area.

But a coun­cil spokesman said the trees would even­tu­ally be re­placed.

Those trees are the only thing that make the street ap­peal­ing and they are rip­ping them out.

SHOP­PERS and res­i­dents are fu­ri­ous Queen St’s leafy es­tab­lished trees have been cut down dur­ing the shop­ping area’s multi-mil­lion dol­lar up­grade.

Many peo­ple have taken to so­cial me­dia to con­demn the move as con­tra­dic­tory to Pen­rith Coun­cil’s prom­ise to cool the area with more trees with its The Cool­ing the City strat­egy.

How­ever, a spokesman for the coun­cil said the trees, many of which were dis­eased, would be re­placed with more suit­able op­tions as part of the $6.7 mil­lion up­grade works to the street.

The coun­cil is con­duct­ing an au­dit of about 7000 trees as it de­cides where new ones can be planted across the re­gion.

Reader Kel Daw­son said she was fu­ri­ous the trees had been cut down. “What the hell is go­ing on in Queen St? Those trees are the only thing that make the street ap­peal­ing and they are rip­ping them out”, she wrote on Face­book.

Vicki Blackwell said more trees should be planted “along Queen St, St Marys, where they just bloody chopped them all down – looks ter­ri­ble now”.

In March, The Stan­dard re­ported the coun­cil was look­ing at ways to com­bat ur­ban heat af­ter nine ar­eas were iden­ti­fied as ex­treme-heat hot spots, in­clud­ing the Colyton/St Marys/Ox­ley Park in­ter­sec­tion.

The coun­cil was suc­cess-

– KEL DAW­SON

ful in gain­ing a $67,000 State Gov­ern­ment grant to help find ways to cool the city.

The coun­cil has been pro­mot­ing its re­cent adop­tion of an Ur­ban For­est Strat­egy, which Mayor Karen McKe­own said out­lined hotspots as they ex­plored “cost­ef­fec­tive and sim­ple ways to help cool the city”.

Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy Syd­ney’s In­sti­tute for Sus­tain­able Fu­tures re­search con­sul­tant Candice De­laney has been work­ing in part­ner­ship with the coun­cil to pro­vide re­search on green cover pol­icy.

She said when it came to long-term and sus­tain­able cool­ing so­lu­tions, “trees have a dou­ble cool­ing ef­fect as they pro­vide shade and re­lease mois­ture through evap­o­tran­spi­ra­tion”.

The coun­cil spokesman said St Marys busi­nesses and res­i­dents liv­ing within a kilo­me­tre of Queen St were no­ti­fied and con­sulted about the tree re­place­ment.

“The vast ma­jor­ity were sup­port­ive of the up­grades and tree re­place­ment.”

Should the trees have stayed? Face­book.com/ mt­druitt­stan­dard

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